Despite the chilling temperatures as well as the heavy traffic, it didn’t put a damper on the polar bear swim at Mayville, New York on Saturday afternoon. In fact, there were a number of swimmers who did laps. Some of them even made snow angels.
According to Dewittville Fire Department Chief Donald Emhardt, whose department is the one in charge of looking after the polar bear swim, there was no ice castle last year due to temperatures being above the freezing point. “We did the polar bear swim last year with only 3 inches of ice. We didn’t even have an ice castle,” he stated. Donald also added that the polar bear swim this year was a big success. The Family Health Services’ Mayville office managed to raise $1,400 for the Mayville Food Pantry. The total amount raised was not available Saturday evening.
Aside from the polar bear swim, the ice castle this year drew in a significant amount of people to the festival. “We had more people this time due to the thick ice and the giant ice castle. We had more people five years ago, but this year was the most we have had in a long time. Some people were jumping in more than once and others were swimming across and even making snow angels. That was new this year. Maybe people felt like doing that because we had more ice,” explained Donald.
Donald also mentioned that himself along with the other firefighters were in the water for two hours on Saturday. “We wore our cold water rescue suits. They are used for when we have to save someone in the lake. We act as the lifeguards for the event. We just make sure people get in and out safely,” he elaborated.
For those who participated in the polar bear swim, they were required to register themselves and pay $10 before they jumped in. The money collected goes to the food pantry. This polar bear swim is held only once during the entire three-day festival. “We had about 35 people come out this year. It is a great event every year,” said Donald. For more of the story, you can check it out here.
Unfortunately, there is no chance for such a festival to be held in Singapore as we do not have a winter season. Nonetheless, Happy Fish Swim School always try our best to provide our students with fruitful and fun swimming lessons.